Does Beth Moore have the Apostle Paul right?
Posted by Don Bryant on August 27, 2010
Click here for an analysis of Moore’s psychological analysis of the Apostle.
It is always a tenuous project to get inside the Apostle Paul’s head, even as it is concerning Jesus. There is no Confessions like book in the Augustine tradition that lays out the psychology of their spiritual lives. In some ways I think we know more about the inner world of Jesus than we do of Paul.
When Paul says he was the chief of sinners, I naturally want details. In what way, Paul? Did you have a besetting sin? Etc. But Paul never elaborates. We can only speculate. Like Moore does.
But I am not sure the speculation is worth it. We psychologize Paul at the risk of some very big downsides. A lot of effort has gone into trying to get inside the head of Martin Luther, or in Luther’s case, his bowels, since his rather fierce constipation is often used to explain his irascibility and constant dis-ease. Where we end up in such biographies is theology as psychology. I am not sure that this is helpful in any meaningful way in the long run, except that theology becomes perceived as just another language to reveal personal states and therefore subjective and without any real truth claims.